Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 November 2020
King Asa in 2 Chr 16 suffers from a foot ailment, which is framed by the specific trait of self-reliance and his disrespect for prophets and the people. The Chronicler uses the king’s foot disease to underscore Asa’s character flaw of self-reliance. Even when his illness is severe, Asa does not turn to Yahweh, but relies on the physicians (2 Chr 16:12b). This interpretation of Asa’s illness is not only integrated into the overall trajectory of Asa’s reign as envisioned by the Chronicler, but also introduces a hitherto unmentioned group of health care professional, namely the physicians (רופאים). This chapter will first give an overview of Asa’s reign both in Kings and Chronicles. Then, I will analyze the role of the physicians. It is shown that Asa’s mistake, according to the Chronicler, consists of turning to physicians alone when he should also have consulted with priests and prophets.